A Scary Goblin

Watch Out for the Goblin!

A story of a stolen salad, a cursed Corolla and eventual redemption

Trudy called out from the back seat, “Turn the station!”

“The what?” her Mom, Dyann, said.

“The station. Turn the station. I wanna listen to something awesome. Something like WXNA!” said Trudy.

Dyann reached over to the console to turn the dial in hope of pleasing her daughter — anything to please her daughter — but when her fingers approached the dial there was nothing there to turn.

“That’s funny,” said Dyann. “Where did the dial go?”

“Mom! The station! I want to listen to WXNA!” Trudy wailed.

“I know, dear, but, um…the dial,” said Dyann.

“WXNA!” said Trudy.

Dyann looked down. The dial was missing. And also the radio. She didn’t understand what was happening. After all, something was playing. Some sort of music, or music-like substance filled the car. It was a bit oppressive. Certainly not free-wheeling. Definitely not freeform. It wasn’t the warm embrace of a dear friend that WXNA had so often provided. Instead it had the feel of a rusting robot, of automation.

“Why won’t you just change the channel?” shouted Trudy. “Whose idea was it to listen to this anyway?”

“I…I don’t know, dear,” said Dyann. “We typically listen to WXNA. Not this. Whatever this is. What…what is this anyway? It sounds like The Eagles, but also like Staind, and maybe Scott Joplin? It’s very odd. Frankly, I don’t like it.”

“Just turn the station, pleeeeeeeease! PLEASE!” said Trudy.

Dyann reached back to the console, keeping her eyes on the road. She was adamantly opposed to distracted driving. Her hands moved across the faux wood-grain wondering if maybe, perhaps, she had somehow misplaced the radio. Maybe it was where the A/C was supposed to go. Perhaps some young troublemakers had gotten into the car when she was parked at the salad shop and had moved around all of the gizmos. It had happened before, and was certain to happen again. But the radio was not where the A/C was. It wasn’t next to the nav system. It wasn’t in the glove box, or in a cup holder. The radio was gone. Not “missing” but gone, like it never existed. It was as if they were driving the E trimline instead of the midrange “LE” which they had definitely purchased 14 years prior when the car was brand new and still had that smell about it.

“Mom! The radio! C’mon, this is the worst day of my life!” said Trudy.

“It’s not the worst day of your life. Don’t be so dramatic,” said Dyann. But Dyann was not so sure herself. Is it possible the radio truly vanished, or maybe never even existed? Was this was the worst day of her life? Was she supposed to pretend like it was never there — that this was a radioless car? But where was that sound coming from? It was like a mix between “The Pina Colada Song” and The Muffs and, maybe, Beethoven. Something wasn’t right, so she pulled over to the shoulder. Cars whizzed past.

“I just want to listen to anything else besides this. Anything!” Trudy said.

“What if I sing you a song?” said Dyann.

“No! It’s has to be WXNA!” said Trudy.

“But I thought you said — ”

“It HAS to be WXNA, OK Mom? OK?”

Safely parked on the shoulder, Dyann was finally able to inspect her center console — to finally figure out where the radio went. The results were inconclusive. In fact, more was missing than just the radio. The front passenger seat was no longer there, for starters. Dyann was pretty sure the seat was in the car when she had gotten in, but to be fair, it wasn’t really something she paid particularly close attention to. For the most part the seat never really left the car, which is why its absence — in addition to the radio, and the odd music that seemed to be coming from nowhere — was all the more unsettling. Dyann turned to Trudy.

“Trudy, why didn’t you tell me the front seat was missing?”

“I thought you knew. I thought you took it out?”

“And the radio?” said Dyann.

“I just want to listen to WXNA. It’s my favorite station. I mean, just this morning I voted them Best Radio Station in Nashville in the Nashville Scene’s yearly Best of Nashville Readers Poll.”

“I’m sorry, what did you just say? Readers Poll?” asked Dyann.

“Yeah, the Best of Nashville Readers Poll.” said Trudy, looking at the pained look on her mother’s face.

Dyann turned around, put her head on the steering wheel and looked at the floor. “It was that damn goblin,” she said.

“What?” said Trudy.

“The goblin. At the time I thought nothing of it, but it has to be the goblin.”

“A goblin? What even is a goblin?” said Trudy.

“Y’know, a goblin. Little green guy. Big ears. Pointy fingers — runs around with a satchel of gold,” said Dyann.

“You mean a leprechaun?” said Trudy.

“Trudy. I’m a fifty-year-old woman. I know the difference between a goblin and a leprechaun.”

“Well, what is the diff—“

Dyann interrupted, “I was at that salad place, eating a salad. I had my laptop. I was actually on the Nashville Scene’s website voting in their Reader’s Poll. And that’s when he approached me — the goblin. He told me to vote for WXNA for Best Radio Station, or he would cast a spell on my Corolla and cause the radio and front-passenger seat to disappear. Then he stole my salad before I was done with it and ran out the door. I was so angry, I deliberately abstained from voting in the entire category. Welp, he must have done it. He made my radio and my front-passenger seat completely disappear.”

“Mom, that’s…that’s…a goblin?”

“Yup, it was a goblin. A goblin that cursed my Corolla for not voting for WXNA for Best Radio Station.” Dyann said.

“I think there’s only one thing to do,” said Trudy.

“Oh, what’s that?” said Dyann.

“You have to go back to that salad place and steal your salad back from the goblin and demand that he uncurse this Corolla.”

“What if I just went and voted for WXNA for Best Radio Station in the Nashville Scene’s yearly Best of Nashville Readers Poll?” said Dyann.

“But will that break the curse,” said Trudy.

“Does it matter?” said Dyann. “I just want to support that great station.”

“Excellent point, Mom.”

“Here, let’s get out and roll this car into a ravine,” said Dyann.

“You bet, Mom!”

Dyann and Trudy got out of the car, put it in neutral and safely pushed the car into a ravine, ridding themselves of the goblin’s curse. The strange sound of The Turtles mixed with Seven Mary Three and the soundtrack to Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat faded as it rolled into the ravine. Then the two hitchhiked back to that salad place where Dyann fixed her voting for the Nashville Scene’s yearly Best of Nashville Readers Poll.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Don’t let the goblin get you! Vote now at BestOfNashville2019.com.)

* * * * *

Voting is now open for the Nashville Scene’s Best Of Nashville Readers Poll. Help us threepeat as Nashville’s Best Radio Station!

You can vote at BestOfNashville2019.com. Best Radio Station is under the Media & Politics section. You must vote in 25 categories for your ballot to count. You may leave your ballot and return again, but you must have it completed before Sept. 5. There is no “submit” button—once you click “vote” in each category, your vote is counted.

 

Rick Pecoraro
WXNA Contributor

Let’s Hear It for People-Powered Radio!

When we brag that WXNA FM is people-powered radio, we mean it. Listener support makes possible our broadcasting in Nashville at 101.5 FM and online, with a wide array of freeform and speciality programming coming to you seven days a week. This Spring Pledge Drive (May 13-19, 2019), we thank you for expressing your love for WXNA by making a donation. Here’s what several of our volunteer DJs had to say about what people-powered radio means to them.

 

Leanne Merritt of “X-Posure”

People-powered radio, especially WXNA, is a positive example of a thriving symbiotic relationship. I love seeing how music connects us all and I realize every day just how small the world is as I meet people through music. I believe that music is a powerful connector, and that it creates community. I hope that the joy I get by sharing new sounds on my radio show is also experienced by the listener tuning in and by the artist who is getting their music played on the radio.

 

Plato Jenkins of “The Needle in the Groove”

WXNA gives me a reason to search out new (to me) music. It’s like spinning records in my living room, except I’m sharing with more than just my dog. 😜 And the other shows inspire me.

 

Laura Pochodylo of “Big Little Records” and “Runout Numbers”

For me, being part of a people-powered radio station is an exercise in putting my time, effort and money where my mouth is. If I want an alternative to corporate mass media, I had better help build and support it! Hosting two shows each week is a great excuse I can use to keep buying cool records, and I love that it expands my sonic horizons while building my confidence in my musical knowledge and on-air abilities. Being a part of WXNA feels like having an extended family all throughout Nashville.

 

Alexis Stevens of “Free Association”

WXNA reflects the eclectic tastes of the Nashville community (and beyond), and it belongs to the listeners who support it—that is people-powered radio. On a personal level, it fulfills a deep desire in me to share the music I love with others. I think all WXNA DJs feel that way and take the responsibility/privilege seriously. Long live freeform, people-powered radio! LONG LIVE WXNA!

 

Peter Rodman of “Peter Rodman Goes Off”

Music changed my life the minute WXNA went on the air. It changes my life every day listening to the station. I learn more about music now than I had learned in the 50 years prior to the launch of this station! It shows how much the station revitalizes this 67-year-old–we want to do that for everyone listening!

 

Chris Nochowicz of “The Future of Jazz”

When I found out that I have a listener in another country building their personal playlists off of what I play; when I have a listener tell me that what I played got them out of a tough point in their life; when I know I have sold music for artists because their listeners heard it on my show, I understand how important what I play is. All of a sudden I realized that what I play and say is important. I need to stay fresh and current and keep finding the struggling artist that doesn’t have the money to promote, but has some of the best music out there. I’ve been doing this for fifteen years and I could go on forever about why I do this. Better than a paid day at work. Oh, and then the large group of friends I met because of the ❌

 

Nashville Leslie of “Studio & Stage” and “The Soap Radio Hour”

People-powered radio means radio that still reflects free speech and real people playing music they’re passionate about!

 

Lauren Turner of “Shout, Sister, Shout!”

From the late-great “Seaship Auricle” to “Maiden Voyager”—this station has got the whole world’s music covered, as well as the music of the weird and wonderful people in your backyard, making your breakfast, and teaching your children! The magic of the everyday is alive and well on-air, and running on community support is totally a part of that!

 

Celia Gregory of “What Moves You”

When plotting a move to Nashville from my college town a decade ago, aiming to immerse myself in LIVE music, it never occurred to me I might have the opportunity to spin songs and talk to artists I love, sharing their art and perspectives with a wider audience via terrestrial radio. WXNA is a people-powered labor of love, and a dream come true for the volunteer DJs who lend their time and record collections. But we hear from listeners that this is THEIR radio home, too, and there’s room for all! Inclusive. Inspirational. Addictive. For those about to rock (tuned to 101.5 FM), we salute you.

 

Heather Lose, Founding President of WXNA and “Aging Hipster” Host

To me it’s all about connecting with the audience. Our world is a complicated, scary, amazing, beautiful, horrific place. Prepping each week’s show in response to what’s going on out there helps me process, and sharing these songs brings community together to celebrate, mourn, rage, or just enjoy an awesome Elvis Costello song on a pretty day. Because it’s happening live, we’re doing these things together, and anything that helps bring people together is very special and very needed.

 

Lauren Bufferd of “Different Every Time”

I came of age at a time when radio was the primary way I learned about new music or really any music, short of sharing with friends. I first heard Coltrane on a late night jazz show and had to pull over to the side of the road. I’d never heard anything so beautiful–I had to stop driving. Though nothing’s been quite as transcendent since, I have been exposed to lots of new music via radio. When I do my show, I am thinking of someone like me who has big ears and eclectic taste and is going to hear something new and beautiful and exciting on “Different Every Time” and fall in love, just the way I have, so many many times. Also, it’s a great excuse to buy more CDs.

 

Michael Buhl of “The Scatter Shot”

I suppose “people-powered radio” is about individual passions—certainly that of the DJs, who would do their show the same way regardless of whether they had one million listeners or no listeners at all, but also that of the listeners who get their individual tastes and interests catered to as well as being able to discover new ones.

 

Ashley Crownover of “Set Records to Stun” and “The Soap Radio Hour”

Freeform radio is magic brought to you by wizards who are secretly regular people just like you. The songs they play are spells that say, “You are not alone.” The power to cast these magic spells is created via a mystical process of ritual and belief that combines faith, science, and financial support in a big black cauldron of community. DJs stir the concoction at 33 1/3 RPM while cackling maniacally to themselves in a room full of alchemical equipment made possible by listener support. The result is a sparkling fresh batch of people-powered radio sent straight to your head and your heart every single day!

 

Ed Brinson of “Eighties/Schmeighties”

Being part of an organization that is dynamic, growing, and engaged with the community is a true privilege. And planning shows and presenting music beats paying for psychoanalysis!

 

Hound Dog Hoover of “Goin’ Down South”

To me, people-powered radio means that WXNA is bigger than the sum of its parts. Our individual shows might cater to a particular audience, but anyone that tunes it at any time will find some delightful surprises.

 

Drew Wilson of “Loud Love Show

I love having the opportunity to play songs that a listener might not get a chance to hear anywhere else. For that one kid who hears a punk song on the radio late at night and starts learning three chords. To build a community and give an outlet to those that already exist. Music is both a release and a unifying bond. To hear songs that mean something to you, that would never get airplay on a commercial station, that can be life changing.

 

Randy Fox of “Randy’s Record Shop”

Radio is the sound of human voices singing, talking, and connecting with others. It’s one of the most powerful inventions ever created and can be, and should be, more than a means to make money and sell products. “People-powered radio” is real human beings sharing their passion for music, the arts, and the human condition—changing lives and inspiring visions of a world bigger and more diverse than one imagination can contain. It’s also the best means possible to inspire hope, move feet and shake booties, raise a fist in solidarity, rock your ass off, and share our humanity in the moment, right here and now.

 

Some Kind Words from a WXNA Superfan

“Dude, there’s gonna be a street party at Third Man Records during the eclipse.” Those were the exact words my friend living in Nashville told me. Of course I was sold. I live in south Alabama and there was only going to be a partial eclipse here and that’s barely worth looking at. But the rare opportunity to view a total solar eclipse and visit good friends in Music City sounded well worth the drive.

While I was in town, my buddy and I spent a good bit of time cruising around. As soon as we started driving, he told me, “You’re gonna love this station up here, they play everything. I heard Crass on here one morning.” He turned it to 101.5 FM. I was completely enamored from the very first song.

Later that afternoon we visited Grimey’s and my buddy casually said, “I think WXNA broadcasts from upstairs.” I had to investigate and see what this was all about. I saw a small WXNA sticker on the door of an unassuming building and knew it was the place; I went in and up the stairs and lo and behold there was station co-founder Randy (I figured this out later) and DJ Juan (he was training at the time).

I am blown away that this group of over 80 volunteer DJs put together so many completely different sets week after week! I listen to 40+ hours of music at work every week. Iit had been a struggle finding quality music that was also safe for a work environment, but I knew immediately that the problem had been solved.

I found WXNA during a once in a lifetime event in a fascinating city and it has been life-changing. I hear at least 50 new songs every single day! I feel so lucky. I’ll occasionally call a DJ to tell them I like a song or a set or make a request. It turns out one of the DJs has a family member near me and we had a beer together when he was in town. What’s better than making connections with quality people? Isn’t that what music is about anyhow?

A total solar eclipse is an extraordinary experience but I have to say that discovering WXNA has had a more profound impact on me. WXNA helps me keep my mind focused and keep living right. I think I am a bit of an odd bird and have even been dubbed a superfan but I am sure there are many others out there that share my love for the station. I only look forward to the success and growth of WXNA.

Oh, and they have a heavy metal show!!!

Brad Johnson
Fairhope, Alabama

Photo Credit: Wim Mulder, Flickr